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Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)

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Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
May 24, 2023 11:31AM
From the Yosemite Road Construction webpage:

Sentinel Drive (between Yosemite Village and Southside Drive) will be closed due to contruction from approximately June 5 through July 6, 2023. Work will begin in late May in the area. Improvements are being made to Sentinel Drive as part of a larger project in Yosemite Valley to create a more continuous flow traffic pattern This is one of the primary modifications being made as part of the Yosemite Valley circulation system. The schedule is subject to change according to weather conditions and availability of materials. Please drive or cycle carefully and watch for workers and equipment in the roadway.

Work along Sentinel Drive will include:

saw-cutting pavement

removal of asphalt and concrete

fabrication of concrete forms

modifications to the Sentinel Bridge parking area

construction of a center median

new curb work
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
May 24, 2023 04:23PM
Oh boy, just our luck that that's when we will be there for 3 nights at the lodge.
Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
May 31, 2023 12:59PM
I really hate that new traffic pattern for many reasons that I won't post right now. The pilot was done during the times when Covid and the day use reservation system was in place when visitation was down and does not reflect how it will help with traffic during times of high visitation. Therefore, this study is greatly flawed. It should have been done during a normal year. I have written letters to the park about this plan and feel that others should do so also.
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
May 31, 2023 03:14PM
So does this mean that while construction is going on, to get to the Lodge you have to go all the way to Stoneman bridge on south side and turn left? And then to get to the Village from the Lodge you have to go all the way down to the El Cap bridge on northside and go back up Southside?
Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 01, 2023 02:59PM
Well, not if you are walking or riding a bicycle. eye rolling smiley

But if you are in a vehicle, yep!
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 01, 2023 03:48PM
OK, I just realized that I have been out of the loop for a while, and had not seen the 'new' traffic patterns that were introduced since our last visit in Nov. of '21. Well, in 3 plus weeks I'll get to see/use them in person.
Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 02, 2023 12:09PM
This is a link to the pilot study they did for the new traffic pattern. We have been there several times since the pilot was started and now it will be a permanent change. It makes it really hard to drive around the valley, which in my mind is what the parks wants - to force people out of their cars but has the potential to make it hard to get where you want to be if you make a mistake, and you turn in the wrong place. For example, if you turn left onto Sentinel Bridge to go to Yosemite Lodge then if you want to go back to, let's say Curry Village or the campgrounds, you have to go all the way back to the El Cap crossover to get back to the east side of the valley. Also, you will only be able to access the parking lot at Sentinel Bridge when you are going in one direction. It also makes using the shuttle system less user friendly since there are now basically two separate shuttle routes. This new traffic pattern also doesn't fully address the issue of the pedestrian crossing near the Lodge to go to Yosemite Falls. It does change the traffic pattern in and out of the lodge area, but pedestrians still have to cross over Northside Drive which will still require traffic to stop to let people cross the road. In the Merced River Plan, there was supposed to be a tunnel for pedestrians to use to get to the falls which would have meant that traffic would not come to a standstill in that area. Like I mentioned in a earlier post, I feel that since this pilot study was done when park visitation was down during the early years of Covid and then when day use reservations were required, that it is a faulty study and should not have been made permanent until it was tried out in a normal year. I can't wait to see how well it works this summer. I think it is going to be a failure and is a misuse of funds to do all of the construction now and then find out that it doesn't work as well as they thought it would.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/roadpilot.htm
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 02, 2023 12:38PM
Well, we'll be there in 4 weeks, so I can live it 1st hand.

We'll be staying at the Lodge for 3 nights, and Sentinel will be closed. So, as I understand it, we will have to drive to Stoneman to then get back to the Lodge, and then enter it across from the old gas station.

And if we want to have dinner one night at the Ahwahnee to help celebrate our anniversary (we ate there one night on our honeymoon...54 years ago...but also several other times over the years) then we would have to drive from the Lodge to the El Cap turn-around, back up to Stoneman, and then over to the Ahwahnee...and hope to find a place to park! Or park at Safeway and catch the Valleywide shuttle, or just take the Valleywide shuttle from the Lodge to the Ahwahnee...what a bother. Might be 3 dinners in the Mtn. Room...or Base Camp.
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 02, 2023 07:49PM
Well, I guess dining at the Ahwahnee now is sort of really out of the question anyway, since the main dining room is closed for earthquake retrofit ;-(
Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 09, 2023 11:40AM
I wonder if anybody stopped to think that, not only is this a wildly inconvenient arrangement, there is a sizeable percentage of visitors who will, quite likely, get very pissed off and drive even faster to deal with these hassles.

I rarely go to the valley anymore when I visit...for all that I love there, it's much more relaxing to be down in Wawona or up in the TM area. I agree that part of the "intentional hassle" is to get people on the shuttle buses but the shuttles have always been very unreliable in my experience (compare, for example, the shuttle buses in Zion which run pretty much like clockwork). Of course, the only practical way to get good shuttle service is probably to close the roads to cars altogether (or at least have dedicated bus roads (not just bus LANES which people will happily abuse).
Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 03, 2023 08:13PM
Yup. I've been saying for decades now that the whole traffic backup from Yosemite Lodge to Stoneman bridge in the afternoons is the uncontrolled pedestrians crossing from the Yosemite lodge parking lot to the Lower Falls trail. Not a tough concept.
Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 09, 2023 06:07PM
What's the new traffic pattern? I haven't been to Yosemite in about nine years.
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 10, 2023 01:35PM
Go up above in this thread to a post by parklover on June 2nd. There is a link there that shows you the current map and intersections.
avatar Re: Sentinel Drive: Closed (June 5 through July 6)
June 11, 2023 09:27AM
9 years?!?
It's time to return.
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